There was this article (click) in the Guardian, about the Glazers’ financing of Man United, and the debts etc. While I hate Man United with a vengeance, I would feel a little sad if they go down. Like Arsenal, they are an institute. And they play more often than not in the right spirit of the game.
Okay, back to my point. One of the comments to the article had this bit of info about the Glazers’ takeover of Man United. Any idea as for the truth / veracity of this?
The most interesting aspect of this takeover, was in the months running up to it. SAF was suing the ‘Coolmore mafia’ over the stud ownership of the racehorse ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ who at the time was considered a potential stallion superstar and valued at around £60m. Coolmore responded to this hostility, by buying Manchester Utd shares at an incredible rate and using their influence to make his life difficult, raising questions at boardroom level about agent fees, his sons role ect, ect. Eventually, faced with a much too powerful foe, SAF dropped the case, but the biggest loser turned out to be Malco(l)m Glazer.
Glazer planned to make his leveraged buyout at a much lower value, but needed to deal with shareholders who, while owning 28%, never had the slightest interest in taking over. Unfortunately for Glazer they were also rich, solvent and under no pressure to sell. A deal had to be done quickly, otherwise potential investors, and this time with genuine takeover ambitions, could swiftly make a move and scupper the Glazer ambitions. Shares were bought at top dollar, uncompetitive finance taken, the rest, including the future will be history. Dermot Desmond, the major shareholder of Celtic and Coolmore associate , made £11m just of his 3%.
Rock of Gibraltar, as it happens, turned out to be a relatively unsuccessful sire, his mare covering fee, dropped from £65, 000 to about £20,000.